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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

How the Disneyland Strike of 1984 Changed the Magic Kingdom Forever

Disneyland custodian Al Ramos came back from vacation in September 1984 with no work to return to, save for walking the picket line outside his job. The company wanted a two-year wage freeze, no health-insurance benefits for part-time workers and the freedom to outsource jobs. Members of a five-union coalition representing the theme park’s custodians, ticket sellers, ride operators, sales clerks and warehouse workers soundly rejected Disneyland’s final contract offer.

Nearly 2,000 cast members, as Disney calls its employees, hit the Magic Kingdom with the largest strike in its history. “I was completely positive about being on strike,” recalls Ramos, who’s currently coming up on 47 years of employment. “That first week, workers were determined to show the company that we were serious.”

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Navel Gazing Blog post:

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